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Current Blindness News and Events, Blindness News Articles.
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Trachoma leaves millions blind, costs $2.9 billon to global economy
The human toll and economic burden of trachoma, a chronic infection that causes blindness, has been calculated by researchers for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the International Trachoma Initiative. There are 3.8 million cases of blindness and 5.3 million cases of low vision in countries known or suspected to have trachoma. The researchers estimate $2.9 billion in lost productivity to low vision or blinding trachoma. (2003-03-19)

High risk trachoma patients less likely to pay for treatment
Reseachers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public health found that Tanzanians who are at the greatest risk of contracting trachoma, a chronic infection that causes blindness, are the least willing to pay for azithromycin treatment. The researchers conclude that governments should continue to make antibiotics available free of charge in trachoma control programs. (2003-02-26)

OHSU launches gene therapy trial for macular degeneration
OHSU researchers have kicked off a gene therapy clinical trial aimed at treating patients with age-related macular degeneration. (2003-02-24)

National vision experts converge for research symposium
The eyes of the vision science research world will be focused on the University of Houston March 1-3 during a symposium that celebrates the College of Optometry's 50th anniversary. The event, (2003-02-19)

Researchers find promising drug for preventing serious complications of diabetes
Researchers have shown that a drug used in Europe can simultaneously block three of the major biochemical pathways responsible for the blood-vessel damage that causes diabetic complications and also prevent retinopathy in diabetic rats. By feeding diabetic rats benfotiamine (a synthetic derivative of thiamine, the co-factor for the enzyme transketolase), the researchers substantially boosted transketolase's activity--effectively converting two damage-triggering glucose metabolites into harmless chemicals and preventing all three damaging biochemical pathways from being activated. (2003-02-16)

Braille found to be essential, regardless of age of blindness
Everyday there is new hope that advances in technology will enable the nearly one million totally blind Americans to enhance their lives. Engineers and computer experts continue to strive for new innovations to improve the quality of life for the blind. But a new research study suggests that Braille, the first great innovation for the blind - may offer more in stimulating the visual cortex that any technology incorporating only audio signals. (2003-02-12)

Night blindness may explain fear of the dark
Fear of the dark is a common complaint in children and is often attributed to attention seeking behaviour. Yet, researchers in this week's BMJ suggest that it may be due to night blindness - a diagnosis which can be easily missed. (2003-01-23)

Major technical advance in astronomy improves diagnosis of eye diseases
A major technical advance in astronomy is making it possible for scientists at Indiana University to see individual living cells of the human retina clearly for the first time. This will greatly improve doctors' ability to diagnose diseases of the retina such as glaucoma at an early stage, when intervention and treatment can prevent blindness. (2003-01-17)

Onchocerciasis Control Programme (OCP): Success of 28 years of disease control in West Africa
The meeting to wind up the Onchocerciasis Control Programme (OCP) will be held on 6 December 2002, at Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). The programme's participants will bring to an end a 28-year campaign against a disease which was one of West Africa's main public health problems. The meeting is an opportunity for IRD researchers also to review the achievements of nearly 50 years of research on this debilitating disease. (2002-12-04)

OXiGENE, foundation fighting blindness sign research agreement for phase I/II clinical trial
For the first time, The Foundation Fighting Blindness will fund an investigational drug in a human clinical trial. OXiGENE, Inc. announced today that The Foundation will provide funding for a physician-sponsored Phase I/II clinical trial of the Company's vascular targeting drug, Combretastatin A4 Prodrug (CA4P). The study will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of CA4P in treating patients with wet age-related macular degeneration, a form of the leading cause of blindness for people 55 and older. (2002-10-31)

More frequent ivermectin treatment could reduce symptoms of disease responsible for river blindness
Authors of a study in this week's issue of THE LANCET propose that more frequent drug therapy with ivermectin could reduce symptoms of the parasitic disease onchocerciasis, which affects around 18 million people in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and can lead to river blindness. (2002-07-18)

Study shows eye drops useful in preventing glaucoma
Eye drops used to treat eye pressure inside the eye have been found to be effective in delaying the onset on primary open-angle glaucoma. Results of the five-year study were published in the June 2002 issue of Archives of Ophthalmology. According to Dr. Ronald L. Gross, a professor of ophthalmology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, the study will help doctors to define how much benefit they can provide to patients by using eye drops to decrease pressure in the eye. (2002-06-13)

UC Davis study shows eye drops delay onset of glaucoma in people at higher risk
Research conducted at UC Davis Medical Center and 21 other leading clinical centers in the United States shows that eye drops used to treat elevated pressure inside the eye can be effective in delaying the onset of glaucoma. These results mean that people at higher risk for developing glaucoma may delay -- and possibly prevent -- the disease by using prescribed drops. (2002-06-13)

Eye drops can delay onset of glaucoma
A study led by investigators at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has found that drops that lower eye pressure can delay the onset of glaucoma. The eye drops reduced the development of open-angle glaucoma by more than 50 percent. (2002-06-13)

New hope for diabetics in treating blindness
Australian research has led to clinical trials of a drug that could provide a painless and non-destructive way to treat blindness in diabetics. (2002-06-03)

New research suggests rapid screening technique for macular degeneration
New research from scientists at the University of Utah suggests that the Raman scattering technique shows promise as a screening tool for populations at risk for macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness. (2002-05-15)

Dog 'model' for studying inherited human blindness
Cornell University researchers say the discovery of the two different mutations for X-linked progressive retinal atrophy in dogs provides a new animal (2002-05-07)

Mastiffs could aid treatment of retinitis pigmentosa
The English mastiff dog has been revealed as the perfect animal model to study retinitis pigmentosa (RP) in humans and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) in dogs, researchers at Cornell University and University of Pennsylvania report. (2002-04-29)

New oral medication halts blindness in AIDS patients
A viral infection that robs AIDS patients of their sight can now be fought with a drug in pill form, allowing patients a better quality of life, say the authors of a recent paper in The New England Journal of Medicine. (2002-04-24)

Magnetic fluids offer hope for damaged retinas
Researchers at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg are developing injectable magnetic fluids to repair torn or detached retinas -- a technique they believe could help prevent blindness in thousands. Their work was reported today at the 223rd national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society. (2002-04-10)

Glaucoma leading cause of blindness in Hispanics
Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness among U.S. Hispanics, while cataracts are the leading cause of visual impairment, according to results of a national study led by Johns Hopkins researchers. (2002-04-05)

River blindness caused by bacteria, not worms, suggesting antibiotic treatment for the disease, Science researchers say
Researchers conclude that Wolbachia bacteria living in the worms that cause river blindness are actually the main culprit behind the disease's symptoms. (2002-03-07)

Cancer-causing drug safe and effective in treating eye disease
Ophthalmologists at the University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago have found a highly effective treatment for uveitis, a potentially blinding inflammation of the uvea, the pigmented layers of the eye. In patients with intractable, sight-threatening, non-infectious uveitis, the drug chlorambucil, a chemotherapeutic agent known to cause cancer in some patients when dispensed long-term, was found effective in alleviating inflammation when administered in high doses for a short time. (2002-02-05)

Eat your veggies: Indirect anti-oxidants provide long-term protection
A cancer-preventing compound in broccoli, first isolated a decade ago at Hopkins, may prove to protect against a much broader spectrum of diseases. A new study shows that the compound, sulforaphane, helps cells defend themselves for days against highly reactive and toxic molecules called oxidants. (2002-02-04)

Contact lens solutions may not kill off harmful eye bugs
Contact lens solutions may not kill off harmful eye bugs, reports a study in the British Journal of Ophthalmology. (2002-02-01)

Glaucoma among Mexican-Americans
Glaucoma is more common among U.S. Hispanics than previously thought and is the leading cause of blindness in this growing ethnic group, according to a national study led by Johns Hopkins researchers. (2001-12-17)

Two thirds of the world's blind are women
Almost two thirds of the world's blind are women, finds an analysis of published research on global blindness in the British Journal of Ophthalmology. In 2000, Africa had over 10 times the rate of blindness of the rest of the world. (2001-11-28)

Spinach protein could offer new hope for the blind
Spinach, touted in the Popeye cartoon for its ability to strengthen the body, may prove even more valuable for restoring vision to people who are legally blind. (2001-09-26)

Stem cell research is vital to finding cures for blinding diseases
Stem cell research, which holds promise for treatments for a wide variety of diseases, is just as promising for curing some forms of blindness, vision scientists say. (2001-08-10)

Undiagnosed diabetes and related eye disease in Mexican-Americans -- A call for increased detection
A research study of the Mexican-American population over age 40 found that the rate of diabetes in this group is 20 percent--almost twice that of non-Hispanic Whites--and that 15 percent of those with diabetes did not know that they had the disease before their participation in the study. The findings suggest that increased efforts to improve diabetes detection in Mexican-Americans may be warrented. Published in Diabetes Care, American Diabetes Association. (2001-06-20)

Blood clots are found in retinas of patients with diabetic retinopathy
Diabetic patients show a four-fold increase of blood clots in retinal capillaries than nondiabetic patients. Thus, diabetic patients may benefit from aspirin therapy to reduce their risk of developing diabetic retinopathy - the damage to tiny blood vessels in the back of the eye that causes many diabetic patients to go blind, according to a new study at The Schepens Eye Research Institute. (2001-06-11)

A combination of zinc and vitamin A may restore night vision in pregnant Nepalese women
In a study of 202 pregnant women from Southern Nepal, Christian et al. determined that supplementation with zinc plus vitamin A, but not zinc alone, may restore night vision. Among women with low baseline serum zinc concentrations, the relative odds of night vision being restored by a combination of zinc and vitamin A were four times greater than in the placebo group receiving no zinc. The authors conclude that zinc potentiates the effect of vitamin A in preventing night blindness. (2001-05-29)

UPenn researchers use gene therapy to reverse blindness in dogs
Researchers from Scheie Eye Institute at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center have developed a gene therapy protocol that sucessfully restored sight in dogs afflicted with a variation of Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) -- a severe form of retinal degeneration that, in humans, renders infants permanently blind. The study will appear in the May issue of NATURE GENETICS. (2001-04-26)

In gene therapy first, scientists restore vision to dogs born blind
For the first time ever, animals that were born blind gained the ability to see after undergoing gene therapy, according to research from the University of Florida, Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania. (2001-04-26)

Gene therapy restores vision to dogswith inherited disease
Scientists at Cornell, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Florida, Gainesville have used gene therapy to restore vision in dogs blinded by an inherited retinal degenerative disease. The treatment offers hope for humans with a similar condition. (2001-04-26)

The masculinization of the X chromosome: many genes for early male sperm production reside on the X chromosome
Scientists have found that nearly half of all genes related to the earliest stages of sperm production reside not on the male sex (Y) chromosome, but on the X chromosome, raising the possibility that infertility due to low sperm production may be X-linked, passed on to sons through their mothers. (2001-03-28)

Protein regulation study at Yale confirms suspicions on how hereditary blindness occurs
A Yale research team, in collaboration with scientists at the Baylor College of Medicine, have studied signal transduction- the communication system developed by cells-to further understand how hereditary blindness occurs. (2001-03-26)

Social deprivation linked to increased risk of blindness from glaucoma
People with the least material and psychosocial resources seem to be at greatest risk of going blind from glaucoma, finds a study in this week's BMJ. This study has important implications for government policy aimed at reducing social inequalities in health. (2001-03-15)

Action at a distance in the hyperoxic eye
Exposing newborns to high levels of oxygen, as occurs during the care of premature infants, can have several unfortunate effects on vessel development in the eye, including the loss of vessels within the retina and prolific growth of leaky vessels in the (normally avascular) vitreous body of the eye. This latter effect, which can lead to retinal detachment and blindness, occurs only after the infant is returned to normoxic conditions. (2001-03-13)

PEDF, protein that inhibits blood vessel growth in the eye, is licensed as possible gene therapy candidate to prevent blindness
An eye protein that blocks excessive blood vessel growth will be developed as a possible candidate for gene therapy to prevent blindness in individuals with diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the Western world. (2001-02-18)

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